As oil price per barrel tumbles down

There is divided opinion on the impact of the crash in the international prices of crude oil. While some analysts believe Nigeria is paying the price for sole dependence on a mono product and corrupt profligacy in utilising the proceeds of good years, others believe the slump will force Nigeria to diversify and expand her economic base and thus improve her revenue with greater empowerment of citizens. To you, is the crash in oil prices a blessing in disguise or curse for Nigeria?

ABIMBOLA AKOSILE

* It is a double blessing in disguise. Oil brought us this far from our almost dark age era to a brilliant 21st century. We are better. But our refusal to save money and diversify the economy has brought us down on our knees due to corruption. It is sad. We must start to feed ourselves, refine our own oil, exploit other minerals and focus on gas now. Watch out for saboteurs too.
– Miss Apeji Patience Eneyeme, Badagry, Lagos State

* No oil exporting country has ever asked for oil price fall. So it is not a blessing. It has crippled our economy with the highest rate of inflation in a decade. Even if we have already made alternative source of income, it is not a right step to progress. It is biting everyone today.
– Mr. Tony Okey Ngwoke, Enugu

* Is it a crime for a country to be blessed with resources? Of course crash in oil price is a curse to Nigeria. Having oil as a resource will never stop Nigeria from diversifying her economy. Nigeria’s problem is poor resource management, poor policy implementation and sustainability, corruption etc. If other countries which are blessed with oil as a resource also diversify their economy despite the huge revenue from oil, it is clear that Nigeria as a country got it wrong somewhere.
– Mr. Isaac Odeh, Asokoro, Abuja

* It is a blessing because it would make us productive and diversify the economy.
– Mr. Feyi Akeeb Kareem, Change Makers Forum, Ogwashi-Ukwu, Delta State

* In the short-term it is a curse because of the shock to the economy with the most vulnerable of us the worst hit. In the medium term it could turn to a blessing if our other unexploited human and natural resources are aggressively tapped into and the economy truly diversified. In the long term, it could turn into an even greater blessing with proper planning and implementation of economic policies focusing on manufacturing and processing of our resources into finished products.
– Mr. Buga Dunj, Jos, Plateau State

* The crash in the oil price would have indeed been a blessing to Nigeria as I expected the price to have crashed to $5 per barrel so that our government will wake up from their sleep and take the necessary step in developing the other sectors such as agriculture, solid minerals etc. Mono-economy is the worst for any nation that wants to grow and develop.
– Mr. Kriskenny Ojogbede, Abuja

* To many of us in Nigeria, the fall in international price of crude oil has dealt a welcome blow to the country’s huge dependence on this product as its economic mainstay. The fall calls for an urgent need for Nigeria to diversify its economy, by searching for other substantial revenue sources. Second, there is the thinking that if we had practiced true federalism, all states in the country as well as the government at the centre would not be depending mainly on oil revenues from a particular section of the country; where producer, and non-producer, states suffer the same fate as price falls. The fall is, therefore, a big blessing.
– Mr. Neville Kikpoye-Jonathan, President, Abua National Associates, Amalem-Abua, Rivers State

* It has no blessing attachment from any angle. Oil fall at international market ought to bring price reduction at home but the reverse is the case in Nigeria. Secondly, it is a new excuse for government officials not to create jobs while their flamboyant lifestyle remains unchanged. It is so bad.
– Mrs. Oge Ngwoke, (IMT), Enugu

* Oil price fall is a double curse for Nigeria because it has brought nothing but poverty and hardship to ninety per cent of the people. Don’t forget that we are exporting cotton, groundnut, cocoa, beniseed, palm oil e.t.c. that made Nigeria the giant of Africa. Today, we have become parasite to oil that all those God-given blessings to us as a nation are no more there. My prayer is that God should wipe out oil in Nigeria and help us come back to our senses.
– Hon. Babale Maiungwa, U/Romi, Kaduna

* Diversification of the economy into agricultural, mining and other resources is a good one, despite that oil price is coming up gradually in recent times.
– Mrs. Ijeoma Nnorom, Lagos State

* It is more of a blessing. Oil has made Nigeria great variously over time. Over-dependence on oil blinded our vision to exploit other lucrative ad abundant minerals that are unnecessarily lying idle amidst abject poverty and gross unemployment. Also, the crashed price has forced us to see the open doors of opportunities and hope in other vast and various untapped resources in Nigeria. We must diversify the economy now, do more research, consume made in Nigeria goods and services e.g. rice, tomatoes, leather products, cement e.t.c and mop up small arms in circulation.
– Mr. Apeji Onesi, Lagos State

* Without mincing words, it is a divine blessing. However, let us not conclude the panacea is to just become an agrarian society. Dynamism is required now. Petroleum shouldn’t control our collective destiny as a nation. Let us be resourceful.
– Mr. Ekwenjo Iheanyi Chukwudi, Brainchild Academic Resources (BAR), Trademore Estate, Apo, Abuja

* Any nation where good policies were not put in place to directly have impact on the citizens is already doomed. The local government should be given autonomy to enable it function. It is not all about economic diversification or crash in crude oil price. The system generally is faulty. Local government can function in a better capacity than the federal and state governments. They can embark on infrastructure development, invest massively in agriculture, attract investors, and provide free quality medical services, education, water, good jobs e.t.c. for the people if given autonomy.
– Mr. Usih Sunday, Delta State

* It is a big blessing in disguise as Nigeria is being forced to diversify our economy though too slowly. Even after the international community warned us repeatedly during the oil boom era of an impending doom but we characteristically refused to heed the advice but called them hypocritical. Now we are facing reality and need to act fast or face more challenges. We must save and diversify now. Gas is waiting and wasting away.
– Ms. Saiki Ometere Tina, Gboko, Benue State

* The fall in price of crude oil on the international market is a blessing in disguise for Nigeria. Now we will look at viable alternative sources of revenue like gas and even solid minerals and agriculture and the economy will become multi-dimensional with a corresponding positive effect on the livelihoods of the citizens. Any increase in the price of crude oil this year should be used to off-set the budget deficit or saved for another rainy day.
– Mr. Olumuyiwa Olorunsomo, Lagos State

THE FEEDBACK
It is a blessing: 8
It is a curse: 2
Others: 5
Radical tip: Let oil finish!
Total no of respondents: 15
Male: 11
Female: 4
Highest location: Lagos (4)

Next Week: Will Ban on Rice Importation Make Any Difference?

Nigerians spend billions of naira annually to consume imported rice products especially from South-east Asian countries, at the expense and detriment of production of local varieties in places like Ofada in Ogun State, Abakaliki in Ebonyi State, Bida in Niger State and Kano. As the Federal Government moves to ban importation of rice eventually, will this make any difference and encourage a corresponding increase in local production or simply boost illegal smuggling of a staple food product?

Please make your response direct, short and simple, and state your full name, title, organisation, and location. Responses should be sent between today (March 31 & Monday, April 4) to abimbolayi@yahoo.com, greatbimbo@gmail.com, AND abimbola.akosile@thisdaylive.com. Respondents can also send a short text message to 08023117639 and/or 08188361766 and/or 08114495306. Collated responses will be published on Thursday, April 7